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Old 05-25-2002, 07:23 PM   #7
Child of the 7th Age
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Evenstar1 --

I think your reference to Sam carrying Frodo and him feeling very, very light is a good one to investigate. This would seen to fall under the heading of "providence" -- the intervention of the One in human/hobbit affairs.

Littlemanpoet -- By the way, if anyone is interested in the general topic of Christian/Catholic allusions, you might want to get hold of the Jan/Feb. edition of Touchstone magazine. The section with the 6 articles is called J.R.R. Tolkien and the Christian Imagination, and it's one of the best things I've seen on this subject. You can get it for $6.00 plus $2.50 shipping from

One of these articles deals with aspects of both Galadriel and Elbereth which can be tied in to Catholic conceptions of the Virgin Mary. Now, in this article, the author points to a difference in Galadriel which is not based on LotR per se but on the Silm and the later Unfinished Tales.

According to this author, Galadriel is represented in the earliest drafts as being involved in the "rebellion" of the Elves against the Valar (his words, not mine). However, in Unfinished Tales, which JRRT hoped to incorporate in the later edition of the Silm, the protrayal of Galadriel is different.

Actually, according to this article, this change is recorded in "History of Galadriel and Celeborn" which was written in the very last month of Tolkien's life. Here, the emphasis is different and Galadriel is not so much supporting the "rebellion" but simply caught up in the departure from Aman to Middle-earth through no fault of her own.

Now, if this is an accurate depiction, it is powerful evidence of the ongoing revision to make it more in accord with Christian/Catholic principles. Indeed, this is revision that goes beyond and after the publication of the Ring story itself.

Would anyone, who knows the Silm and UT better than I, judge this to be an accurate contrast?

In his Letters, Tolkien does say somewhere that Galadriel is "unstained", an adjectives which Catholics normally use to describe Mary. He also says "she had committed no evil deeds." And again, the author admitted he owed "much of this character (i.e., Galadriel) to Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary." I would want to check the dates of those letters to see if this is an early idea or a later one.

Oh, and another topic to investigate is the chronology used in the story which correspond to dates in the Christian calendar, i.e. Gandalf says the New Year of Sauron's demise will always fall on March 25, which is the Christian feast day of the Annunciation, and nine months before, December 25 (i.e. Christmas day), is the date Frodo and his companions left Rivendell.
I wonder at what point in his writing did Tolkien begin to use these precise dates?

That's it for now. Not many answers, but lots of questions.

sharon, the 7th age hobbit
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